• A photo of an American $2 bill is seen here. (U.S. Department of Treasury)A photo of an American $2 bill is seen here. (U.S. Department of Treasury)

    An eighth-grade student in Houston, Texas had a run-in with police after she attempted to buy lunch at school with the seldom-seen US$2 bill.

    Danesiah Neal told Forbes that the cafeteria workers at Christa McAuliffe Middle School thought that she was using counterfeit currency when she tried to pay for her chicken nuggets with a $2 bill given to her grandmother, Sharon Kay Joseph.

    $2 bills are rarely seen in circulation in the U.S. It was discontinued in 1966 because of low use and unpopularity. But 10 years later production resumed and it has remained a denomination since then. However, it is commonly assumed that it is no longer in circulation.

    According to U.S. Department of the Treasury, $2,430,720,000 worth of $2 bills were produced between 1976 and 2012.

    It currently bears the face of former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson on the obverse, and John Trumbull’s famous depiction of the presentation of the draft of the Declaration of Independence to Congress on the reverse.

    Neal told

    Read More »from Police called after student tries to pay for lunch with $2 bill
  • Production staff on Grazia edit the magazine on November 3, 2008 in London. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)Production staff on Grazia edit the magazine on November 3, 2008 in London. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

    For years work was regarded as a loveless pursuit, a spiteful diversion from the joys of life outside the nine-to-five constraint, but in a society that seemingly values happiness in the workplace, it can be hard to know whether it’s time for a change or if you’re just hard to please.

    “Happiness [at work] is actually a new concept… in previous generations they didn’t have the privilege or luxury to think about it,” says Eileen Chadnick, principal life and business coach at Big Cheese Coaching.

    Today “happiness” is front and centre in the nine-to-five narrative and Canadians, or at least half of them, seem to be disappointed in their workplaces.

    According to a poll by specialist recruitment firm Hays Canada, only 47 per cent of Canadians are happy with their jobs. In fact, of the 2,500 Canadians surveyed, a meagre 30 per cent of professionals say they’re well matched with their current employer.

    “The majority (86 per cent) of Canada’s working population believes fit is important but

    Read More »from Know when to quit your job, or if you’re just hard to please
  • Sorry Vader, looking this good isn't cheap.Sorry Vader, looking this good isn't cheap.

    While you may not be able to match Darth Vader’s midi-chlorian count, Shade Station says you could build your own version of the famed Star Wars villain’s black armoured suit for $18.3 million. It is unclear how much that would cost in Imperial Credits.

    Shade Station, a watch and sunglasses retailer based in the United Kingdom, says the brunt of the costs, an estimated $12 million, would come from building the base suit. The company says because the cockpits of Imperial starfighters – such as Vader’s Tie Advanced -- are not pressurized, it would need to be airtight and able to withstand exposure to space, like NASA spacesuits.

    Another $5.4 million would be needed to cover the medical bills and maintenance of his prosthetic limbs. Vader lost both legs, his left arm and was badly burned in a battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.”

    Emperor Palpatine rebuilt Vader’s ruined body using the suit.

    However, Shade Station says it would only cost $180,000

    Read More »from What it costs to become Darth Vader
  •  

    This isn’t your run-of-mill donut you'd find Homer Simpson drooling over.

    Chef Bjorn DelaCruz of Brooklyn’s Manila Social Club has taken the popular North American treat to the next level with his US$150 silver-and-platinum coated and tequila-flavoured creation.

    “It’s not like any other donut you’ve ever had before,” DelaCruz told Business Insider on Tuesday.

    Despite its metallic exterior the Patron Platinum Donut is edible. On the inside, it is a rose-petal donut filled with cream and a spicy ginger-jalapeno margarita jelly.  

    The outside it is covered with a sweet tequila frosting and edible sheets of silver and platinum.

    The creation was inspired by Gran Patron Platinum tequila and Patron Tequila’s “Margarita of the Year” recipe.

    “When you eat this, you are not eating a margarita doughnut," DelaCruz told Business Insider.

    The Manila Social Club in Brooklyn, New York is selling the Platinum Donut for charity until May 8.The Manila Social Club in Brooklyn, New York is selling the Platinum Donut for charity until May 8.

    He said instead the margarita flavours have been deconstructed and used to make a new taste as a donut.  

    The sweet will only be available at the

    Read More »from New York restaurant offers $150 platinum-coated tequila donut
  • The Bank of Japan recently shocked global financial markets once again last week with its decision not to pay out any more monetary stimulus for its struggling economy. But that’s hardly the most stunning decision it’s made this year.

    In February, Japan made the controversial move to adopt negative interest rates for the first time ever, in the hopes of shocking its sluggish economy into action. Negative rates have also been adopted by some European countries, as well as the European Central Bank.

    Why should we care here in Canada? Well, the Bank of Canada said in December that Canada could also adopt negative interest rates if the nation faces an economic crisis. It’s never happened here, and it may be a long shot, but here’s a primer on what negative rates would mean.

    What are negative interest rates?

    Think of a loan that works in reverse: instead of you paying interest to borrow the money, the bank pays you to borrow. So if you borrow $1,000 at a 1 per cent interest rate, you owe

    Read More »from Negative interest rates aren't likely in Canada, but here's what that would look like, anyway
  • Choose where you want to call home. With $1 million, you can invest in your perfect property, in whichever Canadian province your heart desires. What that home looks like, however, will vary greatly depending on where you look. Here’s what’s on the market for $1 million this week.

    [Sotheby’s]

    Montreal, Quebec

    For $1.1 million, you could live in Habitat ’67, a world-renowned landmark deemed a historical monument by the City of Montreal in 2007. Habitat ’67, designed by the famous architect Moshe Safdie, is comprised of 354 cubes equaling 146 residences. A modern wonder, these homes features incredible interiors, walkways, links and suspended terraces, all designed to create a feel of community.

    At Habitat ’67, 2600 Av. Pierre-Dupuy, Apt. 633, is currently on the market. This incomparable modern marvel includes three bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths. Every room within has views of the St. Lawrence river or the Old Port of Montreal. Other features include two terraces and two garages, as

    Read More »from What a $1 million dollar home looks like in Canada this week
  • Big Nickel in Greater Sudbury, northern Ontario, Canada. (Flickr/fw42)Big Nickel in Greater Sudbury, northern Ontario, Canada. (Flickr/fw42)

    We’ve already gotten rid of the penny, how about offing the nickel while we’re at it, too?

    According to one credit union, it’s not such a bad idea.

    A new study released by the Quebec-based Desjardins this week is encouraging Canadians to adopt alternative denominations and eliminating the nickel in the next five years, The Huffington Post reports.

    “Due to the gradual increase in the cost of living and decreased buying power of small coins, the time will come when the nickel will have to be taken out of circulation,” wrote Desjardins economist Hendrix Vachon in the study, titled "Is cash going the way of the dodo?."

    Before you start any “save our nickel!” petitions, however, you should know that this isn’t the first time Desjardins has pushed the idea of moving away from the nickel. The firm concluded in a 2008 study that the nickel was on its way out,  In a 2014 client note, the firm wrote after the penny’s demise: “we’ve gotten rid of something that was both useless and costly…the

    Read More »from Is it time we eliminated the nickel from Canadian currency?
  • Tom Hanks's character in 'The Money Pit' knows how these home owners feel.Tom Hanks's character in 'The Money Pit' knows how these home owners feel.

    Three years ago Paul Gancman turned Kitchen Fix, his custom kitchen business exclusively into a repair service. Why? He was swamped with calls from new condo owners living in the Greater Toronto area. Their warranties had just ended and things were falling apart.

    “The drawers seem to self destruct at about a year,” Gancman said from his Oakville, Ont. shop. “It’s quite common for hinges and doors to fall off cabinets. They aren’t built to last.”

    Last month, Adam H. experienced the built-to-crumble phenomenon within days of moving into his new home in Maple, Ont. Two kitchen cabinets fell from their hinges when he opened them, slipping out as easily as a hockey player’s false teeth. He turned to Gancman to fix what really shouldn’t have been broken in the first place.

    What’s in the walls?

    “The GTA might be a hot real estate market but frankly it’s a nightmare out there,” Gancman says, who receives up to 10 calls a day to do repairs in the area. The market it is so hot right now, that

    Read More »from Hot real estate market leaving Toronto buyers with broken homes
  • [Jamie Shaw, spokeswoman for the B.C. Compassion Club, displays two different varieties of medical marijuana available at the East Vancouver dispensary in East Vancouver, British Columbia, June 5, 2015. / Reuters]

    Starting today, unlicensed Vancouver compassion clubs and cannabis dispensaries could be hit with $250 fines or even court injunctions forcing closures as a result of a new bylaw.

    The city has promised “boots on the ground” visiting the cannabis dispensaries after 162 of the 176 applications for licenses failed due to being within 300 metres of each other, schools, community centres or youth facilities.

    While some prospective pot peddlers have thrown their names in the hat – 230 applicants according to the city’s last count –  other dispensaries, which can rake in $10,000 or more a day, say they plan to eat the city’s fines in the short term while they wait for the Federal government’s much-anticipated recreational marijuana legislation to come into play next April.

    Zach

    Read More »from Marijuana dispensaries in B.C. embrace fines to keep making a profit
  • Shareholders tour Bombardier's CS300 aircraft in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada, April 29, 2016. (Reuters)Shareholders tour Bombardier's CS300 aircraft in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada, April 29, 2016. (Reuters)

    Does your mood swing up and down with the TSX? What’s your opinion on the price of gold? Do you get twitchy if you can’t follow business news like a hawk? Perfect, this quiz on the week’s top business stories should be a breeze. Find out how savvy you are about Canadian and international financial news.

    Read More »from QUIZ: This week in business news, April 23-29
  • Tax scammers may think they can get the better of you, but you'll show 'em who's boss.Tax scammers may think they can get the better of you, but you'll show 'em who's boss.

    Attention last minute tax-filers: the Canada Revenue Agency will now accept payment for your back taxes in iTunes gift cards – or so scammers will have you believe. 

    A Calgary woman was swindled for $20,000 from a man claiming to work for the tax agency last week. The fraudster called her cellphone and said an arrest warrant had been issued for her due to unpaid taxes. He ordered her to purchase iTunes gift cards and give him the activation codes.

    But it’s not an isolated incident. As the May 2 tax deadline looms putting extra stress on last minute filers, scammers line up to prey on Canadians.

    According to the Calgary Police Service’s Economic Crimes unit, scammers claiming they were from the CRA have duped 131 Calgarians for close to $600,000 since February last year.

    As of Tuesday this week, the RCMP in Saskatchewan say they’ve fielded more than 200 reports of people getting suspicious calls saying they’re from the CRA.

    ALSO READ: Ontario woman conned out of $12,000 by iTunes gift

    Read More »from No, you don’t owe the CRA $20,000 in iTunes gift cards
  • Petroleum storage tanks at the Suncor tar sands operations near Fort McMurray, Alberta. (Reuters)Petroleum storage tanks at the Suncor tar sands operations near Fort McMurray, Alberta. (Reuters)

    When Warren Buffett puts his money on something, people listen. So as a savvy investor you may be wondering if you should follow his lead and buy up shares of one of Canada’s largest energy companies.

    Even with the volatility of oil prices, an investment in Suncor Energy Inc. is, by and large, a good thing for many Canadian investors, say financial experts.

    “It’s uncertain where oil prices will go,” says Scott Clayton, a senior researcher with TSI Network, a Toronto portfolio manager and newsletter publisher. “Oil will remain volatile—it could drop further or rise up. But we feel that most investors should have some oil and gas exposure in their portfolios and the best way to do that is with good dividend-paying stocks such as Suncor.”

    “One thing we really like about Suncor is that at 3.2 per cent, Suncor has a high yield dividend for an oil and gas stock.”

    As arguably the world’s savviest investor, Buffett beefed up his position in Suncor late last year boosting his share in the

    Read More »from This Canadian energy company is one of Berkshire Hathaway's biggest holdings
  •  

    <span style=font-size: 100%; font-family: Arial; data-sheets-value={"1":2,"2":"Why working from home may not work for you"} data-sheets-userformat={"2":12801,"3":[null,0],"12":0,"15":"Arial","16":10}>Why working from home may not work for you (Reddit)<br /></span>

    We get up in the early hours of the morning to get prepared for the workday ahead. We leave the house heading for our long commute from the front door to the four walls of our cubicles. We work our eight hour days, sending countless emails, answering phone calls and only leaving our cubicles for personal breaks. So why is it that in an advancing digital work space we even bothered coming into a physical office space?

    It brings to light an even more important question – why don’t we all just work remotely? Just imagine the possibilities: A few more extra hours of sleep in the morning, working in your housecoat, not having to make small talk at the water cooler with your celebrity-obesessed co-worker.

    “In an increasingly competitive economic climate, a lot of companies are looking for ways to get an edge over others,” says Sheryl Boswell, Director of Marketing with Monster Canada. They’re also looking for cost-savings. With the advent of modern cloud-based technologies, companies are

    Read More »from Why companies are trying to make working from home work for you
  • Uber is now charging riders who are late for their rides

    The new policy is being tested in a handful of states

    The next time you call for an Uber you'd better make sure your drunk friend is ready to roll as soon as the car shows up or you’re going to get stuck with a fee.

    That’s because Uber is testing a new pricing plan that will let drivers start running the meter for your trip if you’re more than two minutes late for your ride, rather than the current 5-minute wait time.

    (Update: Uber's previous wait time was 5 minutes, not 10)

    I’ll be honest, it takes me more than two minutes to get my coat on and find my keys, so I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking two minutes is a bit too short of a leeway time for riders.

    That said, I’m looking at this from a lazy millennial rider’s point of view, not as a driver who has to sit in his car and wait for my friends and me to stumble out of a bar with in our Patagonia jackets and Adidas sweatpants.

    So, you know, whatever.

    In addition to the new two-minute grace period, Uber is also introducing a two-minute limit between when you call an Uber and when you

    Read More »from Uber is now charging riders who are late for their rides
  • When the Ontario Government included a paragraph in the 2016 budget discussing plans for a pilot program testing universal basic income, those on welfare and disability income support probably took notice.

    Currently, if you’re collecting monthly Ontario Works payments – the province’s version of welfare – you receive a maximum between $681 per month as a single person and $1,408 as part of a couple with two children. The maximum monthly cheque for those on the Ontario Disability Support Program [ODSP] is a bit higher, between $1,110 for a single person  and $2,025 for a couple with two children. Neither payment is anywhere near the average cost of living in Ontario. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which sets the living wage for the province ($18.52 per hour, per person), puts average expenses for a family of four in Toronto at $65,850.55 a year. The ODSP payment at its maximum would pay out $24,300 a year.

    This means those who are eligible for Ontario Works and ODSP require

    Read More »from Ontario’s basic income plan poses a threat to existing social programs
  • NBCUniversal to Acquire DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 Billion

    By Brent Lang, Cynthia LittletonVariety

    NBCUniversal has set a deal to buy DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion in cash.

    The deal values DWA at $41 a share, a rich premium over the company’s recent trading levels. The total equity value of the deal including debt is $4.1 billion.

    DreamWorks Animation will become part of NBCUniversal’s Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. Chris Meledandri, head of Universal’s Illumination Entertainment animation wing, will oversee operations. The DreamWorks Animation brand will remain intact as an imprint.

    Related: DreamWorks’ Kid Stuff Could Fuel Comcast’s Serious Business

    After the sale closes, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg will become chairman of DreamWorks Animation New Media, comprising its ownership stakes in AwesomenessTV and Nova, which will be part of NBCUniversal and housed under the film group headed by chairman Jeff Shell. Katzenberg will also serve as a consultant to NBCUniversal. Though he remains committed to his work

    Read More »from NBCUniversal to Acquire DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 Billion
  • Gym rats are outraged ClassPass raised its prices

    Hello 60% price hike

    ClassPass, the increasingly popular fitness class subscription service, has slowly but surely been jacking up prices in cities. And the company’s loyal members are less than thrilled.

    Members in half a dozen cities — Atlanta, Toronto, Austin, Dallas, Boston, and, as of today, New York — received emails alerting them to the changes over the last few weeks. The price hikes vary by city and by type of membership. For the most part, the changes will sting new users looking to sign up for an unlimited monthly subscription. Existing unlimited subscribers will get burned as well but to a slightly lesser degree.  

    For example, in New York City, an unlimited membership will now set new users back $200 a month, up from $125. Existing unlimited will now be charged $190, a 52% spike.  

    ClassPassClassPass

    Atlanta was among the first of the company’s more than 30 locations to get hit with the price increase in late March. New subscribers now pay $160 a month, up from $99, a 60% hike. Existing unlimited members in

    Read More »from Gym rats are outraged ClassPass raised its prices
  • Have you diversified your portfolio in line with the ultra-strict ‘Diversified Security Principal (DSP 2016)’? What about maximizing returns via a ‘variable-income securities vehicle’?

    We’re willing to wager you haven’t, likely because these terms are nonsensical words created by mashing together financial jargon. It’s part of a clever survey devised by Hennick Wealth Management to test Canadians investment acumen.

    “In all fairness, a lot of the people who answered the questions got them right, saying ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about,’” Adam Hennick, principal at Hennick Wealth Management told Yahoo Canada Finance. “But it’s the people who weren’t sure or thought they owned something that was made up which makes you go ‘wow.’”

    While those surveyed get a passing grade as a whole, 12.3  per cent said yes to the notion that their portfolios used the ‘Diversified Security Principal’ and 29.3 per cent ‘weren’t sure’ – adding up to a total of 41.6 per cent of respondents being

    Read More »from Ever invest in 'forward yield disbursement bonds?’ No you haven’t, and here’s why
  • image

    [Left: Warren Buffett file photo; Right: Pipe stacked at the southern site of the Keystone XL pipeline on March 22, 2012 in Cushing, Oklahoma. / Getty Images]

    When Warren Buffett endorses something, it can have a tremendous ripple effect, which is why Buffett’s support of the Keystone XL pipeline is not something to take lightly.

    “I think probably the Keystone pipeline is a good idea for the country,” Buffett said in regards to the United States during an appearance on CNBC in 2014.  

    Keystone XL, a 1,897-kilometre pipeline running from Hardisty, Alberta, south to the United States’ Gulf Coast, was intended to tap unused Canadian oil sands crude, carrying 830,000 barrels of oil across the border each and every day.

    In November 2015, President Obama rejected the completion of Keystone XL on environmental grounds, stopping in its tracks the fourth stage to the already-completed Keystone pipeline.

    “America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change,

    Read More »from Warren Buffett’s controversial stance on the Keystone XL pipeline
  • [In this April 30, 2010 photo, Greg Abel is seen in Omaha, Neb. / AP Photo/Nati Harnik, file]

    Warren Buffett may be America’s best-known investor, but when the 85-year-old billionaire eventually decides to step aside from the perch atop his Berkshire Hathaway holding company, the smart money says a Canadian will take his place.

    Buffett’s succession plan has been a hot-button issue for a while now. It’s a natural question for a corporate leader getting further and further past normal retirement age. But of course, this isn’t just some old guy in a corner office who can be replaced by some MBA with a good resume. This is an investment guru whose wealth is measured in the tens of billions, who has done his time atop the richest-in-the-world lists, and a guy who has a cult following possibly unmatched in the business world.

    So, these are big shoes to fill.

    Let’s hope Greg Abel has big feet. He’s not a household name at the moment, and in fact he’s not even the most famous Abel in his family.

    Read More »from This Canadian could one day be Warren Buffett’s successor
  • <h1 id=yui_3_9_1_1_1461782084771_1773 class=headline style=margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; font-size: 25.61px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.21em; color: #000000; font-family: arial, helvetica, clean, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: #ffffff;>Retirement is more expensive than you think</h1>

    One of the assumptions about retirement is that your expenses will drop by about 30 per cent once you leave the workforce. It’s a comforting nugget that allows people to sleep a bit easier ahead of the big day when your paychecks stop forever.

    But recent data from Franklin Templeton Investments suggests assumptions aren’t matching reality, and that drop in costs isn’t materializing for many retirees.

    According to Franklin Templeton’s 2016 Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations survey, 43 per cent of retirees found that their expenses actually increased after retirement, up from 33 per cent in last year’s survey. In contrast, only 32 per cent of retirees found that expenses went down.

    It’s a number that flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but isn’t exactly a surprise to retirement experts who have been watching retiree expenses rise for years.

    Matthew Wiiliams, head of defined contribution and retirement for Franklin Templeton Investments, said at least part the sharp

    Read More »from Retirement is more expensive than you think, and that’s a problem
  • All you need to know about Warren Buffett and his $460 billion empire

    If you have a spare $220,000 then you could afford buy a single share in Berkshire Hathaway.

    You'd be joining 40,000 others who own a piece of the legendary $460 billion investment company, vaunted for its simple and honest stock-picking strategy and better-than-average returns.

    This Saturday, tens of thousands of Berkshire shareholders will descend on the city of Omaha in the U.S. state of Nebraska to attend the most highly anticipated annual shareholder meeting on the planet.

    Yahoo Finance will be there to live-stream the event, including to the U.K. and Ireland, marking the first time live filming have ever been allowed inside.

    But why is this company so successful, who is behind it and what can we expect from this year’s meeting?

    The chances are you’ve heard of Warren Buffett even if you aren’t quite sure what he does.

    The 85-year-old self-made billionaire is at number three on the Forbes Rich List and boasts a personal fortune of around $70 billion. 

    The so-called Oracle of Omaha

    Read More »from All you need to know about Warren Buffett and his $460 billion empire
  • Apple iPhone sales tumble, earnings whiff, stock tanks

    Apple Q2 revenue and earnings fall.

    Apple (AAPL) sales fell for the first time since 2003.

    The tech giant reported revenue of $50.6 billion and earnings of $1.90 per share. Analysts were looking for $52 billion and $1.99, respectively.

    All of this was down from $58.0 billion and $2.33, respectively, from a year ago.

    Shares are down by 6% in after-hours trading.

    The key driver of declines was iPhone sales, which fell 16% year-over-year to 51.19 million units. iPhone revenue tumbled 18% to $32 billion. iPad sales fell 19% to 10.25 million units. Mac sales tumbled 12% to 4 million units.

    Apple products all tumbled. (Image: Apple)Apple products all tumbled. (Image: Apple)

    Sales in the Americas, which represent Apple's largest market, fell 10% to $19.0 billion.

    Greater China, which is considered a growth market, saw sales plunge 26% to $12.5 billion.

    Apple has returned $10 billion of its massive cash hoard to shareholders in the form of buybacks and dividends.

    The bad news isn't over yet

    Management expects business to remain lackluster with fiscal Q3 revenue in the range of $41 billion and $43 billion. This

    Read More »from Apple iPhone sales tumble, earnings whiff, stock tanks
  • Here's what Warren Buffett orders when he goes to his favorite steakhouse

    Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK-A, BRK-B) shareholder meeting is jam-packed with activities all weekend. One of the events attendees look forward to the most is shareholder steak night at Gorat’s Steakhouse.

    Every year, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett takes over Gorat’s, one of his favorite restaurants in Omaha. This year, shareholders will be able to attend a special steak dinner between 1:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 1.

    The steakhouse has been an Omaha tradition since 1944, serving steaks, Italian dishes, and other local favorites. As one of Buffett’s go-to spots, Gorat’s has hosted numerous celebrities and business leaders from around the world.

    So what’s Buffett’s favorite thing to order? The Oracle of Omaha isn't too picky.

    “Historically it's always been a T-bone,” Buffett told Yahoo Finance editor-in-chief Andy Serwer. “But I like all steaks… I like beef.”

    The 22-ounce Omaha T-Bone steak costs $38, making it the most expensive item on Gorat’s menu.  Buffett

    Read More »from Here's what Warren Buffett orders when he goes to his favorite steakhouse
  • Twitter can't stop disappointing investors

    Twitter adds more users, stock drops anyway

    Twitter keeps disappointing the street.

    The social media company reported its first-quarter earnings on Tuesday, and revenue was up, but not up to expectations. Analysts had predicted just under $608 million in revenue for Twitter (TWTR) in the first quarter, which would have been a 39% rise from the year before. Instead, the company posted $595 million. It also lowered revenue guidance for next quarter, to a range of $590 million to $610 million. Twitter beat nicely on earnings per share (EPS), reporting 15 cents where analysts had estimated 10 cents, vs. 7 cents in the first quarter of last year.

    And Twitter beat expectations for monthly active users, adding 5 million for a total of 310 million, vs. expectations of 308 million. (The user count no longer includes SMS Fast Followers, users who add Twitter via text-message outside of the U.S.; It is a group Twitter was criticized for including in past user totals as a way to goose their numbers.)

    User growth, of course, is always the

    Read More »from Twitter can't stop disappointing investors
  • Donating to charity isn't just good for others, it can be good for you financially, too. (Thinkstock)Donating to charity isn't just good for others, it can be good for you financially, too. (Thinkstock)

    While Canadians may be scrambling to get their taxes done, there’s a break they can still catch – while helping make the world a better place.

    Charitable donations don’t just benefit the organizations you support; they also help reduce the amount of money you owe to Revenue Canada.

    It seems that many Canadians are opening up their wallets to help charities, with just over 25 per cent claiming donations as of April 4, according to TurboTax.

    The average donation amount was $1,135 – $100 higher than the amount claimed by the beginning of April last year.

    The most generous residents, by provinces and territories, are those in Nunavut, who have claimed the highest average donation amount so far, at $1,509.34. That is followed by those in Alberta ($1,384.64) and Manitoba ($1,244.81).

    By city, people in Montreal have handed over the most, with an average donation amount as of April 4 of $1,732.57, followed by Iqaluit ($1,653.32) and Regina ($1,332.02).

    Charitable donations are a

    Read More »from Make the most of your charitable donations on your tax return
  • On the third floor of Warrant Buffett’s Omaha home was a dime slot machine, auspiciously placed to attract the attention of his three children.

    “I could then give (them) any allowance they wanted, as long as it was in dimes, and I’d have it all back by nightfall,” he remarked at one Berkshire Hathaway annual general meeting. “I wanted to teach them a good lesson. My slot machine had a terrible payout ratio, by the way.”

    While Buffett’s aversion to gambling is well documented – he’s famously called it a “a tax on ignorance” – the Oracle of Omaha’s dime slot machine lesson on the foolishness of gambling also speaks to the role of allowances in building young people’s financial literacy.

    It’s an issue the notoriously vocal Buffett has been outspoken about over the years. He even lent his voice to The Secret Millionaires Club, an animated series where he mentored a group of entrepreneurial teens (and their robot sidekick) as they moved through different financial scenarios.

    Kids don't need to be teens to start learning important personal finance lessons. (Thinkstock)Kids don't need to be teens to start learning important personal finance lessons. (Thinkstock)

    Start early

    Read More »from Warren Buffett offers these important financial lessons to kids
  • 5 things to watch for in Apple’s earnings announcement today

    Apple's earnings are expected Tuesday after the bell

    Apple (AAPL) is scheduled to announce its quarterly earnings on Tuesday after the markets close.

    Analysts are expecting the tech giant to report revenue of $52.0 billion and earnings of $2.00 per share, down from $58.0 billion and $2.33, respectively.

    Behind the big drop in revenue and earnings is an expected decline in iPhone sales.

    Apple's iPhone sales are expected to dip by at least 17.5 percent in Q2. (image: FactSet).Apple's iPhone sales are expected to dip by at least 17.5 percent in Q2. (image: FactSet).
    “Over the past three years on average, the iPhone product segment has accounted for nearly 60% of the total revenues generated by Apple,” FactSet’s John Butters said. “In four of the past five quarters, the iPhone product segment has reported year-over-year revenue growth in excess of 35%. However, last quarter (Q4 2015), the segment reported year-over-year revenue growth of only 7%. For Q1 2016, the segment is projected to report a year-over-year revenue decline of -18%.”

    Naturally we’re going to have a number of other questions about Apple’s performance. But these are the ones we’ll be looking at the closest.

    What were iPhone 6s and 6s Plus sales really

    Read More »from 5 things to watch for in Apple’s earnings announcement today
  •  

    The tax time struggle is realThe tax time struggle is real

    With only days left until the tax filing deadline, it’s time for all those last-minute filers to start frantically searching online for answers to some of their burning questions.

    While some answers shouldn’t be found online (please, if you have to look up a medical condition, just go to your doctor), there is plenty of information out there on some of your most pressing tax questions. Lucky for you, last-minute filers, we’ve rounded up some of the top questions answers to help you get your tax situation in order.

    BMO Wealth Management surveyed 1,516 Canadians in late March on what their biggest questions were this tax season. Here’s what they said:

    1. Should I contribute to my RRSP or TFSA?

    46 per cent of Canadians surveyed were stumped on which savings vehicle is ideal for getting the best bang for their tax dollar. John Waters, Vice President and Head of Tax & Estate Planning for BMO Wealth Management says that to know the answer, you need to figure out what your marginal tax

    Read More »from ‘Help! Where should I save?’ and other tax time questions from Canadians
  • Voluntourism: Are you here to help?

    image

    [Co-founder of Sentebale Prince Seeiso of Lesotho (checked shirt) helps Starkey Foundation voluteers fit hearing aids for a young girl at Lesotho Cooperative College on October 10, 2013 in Maseru, Lesotho. Skilled volunteers are often welcome abroad, but if you’re only offering unskilled labour on your voluntourism trip, you may not be offering as much help as you’d like to think you are. / Getty Images]

    Mariya Aksyonova wanted to help orphans. When one of her friends said they’d be going to Peru for a couple weeks to volunteer at a medical placement, Aksyonova signed up too. With bags packed she headed for Cusco, but the trip wasn’t all she had imagined.

    “When I got there they had all the positions filled and didn’t have any more child care placements,” says Aksyonova who booked her placement through International Volunteer Headquarters (IVHQ). “So they told me ‘sorry, all the child care placements are taken, but for now we can send you to this school with kids.”

    For the next two weeks

    Read More »from Voluntourism: Are you here to help?

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